Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Turning Over Political Rocks

Poor Casey Luskin. Here he expends all the time and effort to try to paint the opposition to Iowa's version of the Discovery Institute's "academic freedom" legislation as unfairly characterizing the bill as attempting to inject religion into public classrooms and along comes one of his "allies" and blows his cover:

Norman Pawlewski, representing the Christian Alliance and one of two state lobbyists registered in favor of HF 183, said, "Why shouldn't teachers and students be able to decide among all the science-related information? God created science, after all."

That "science-related" is a nice touch. Basically, the bill's supporters see it as including anything that anyone might take it into his head to say about science ... oh, like fossils all originated in the Flood. And, of course, this bill has nothing at all to do with religion ... which is why the lobbyist in favor of it mentions God and science in the same breath.

Hector Avalos, Iowa State University professor of religious studies; James W. Demastes, University of Iowa associate professor of biology; and Tara C. Smith, University of Iowa assistant professor of epidemiology, have organized a petition by over 200 faculty members from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa, as well as from 17 other Iowa universities, colleges and community colleges, seven primary and secondary schools, and three research organizations. You might note that this petition, solely from the state of Iowa, has over a quarter of the number of signers that the Discovery Institute's bogus "Dissent From Darwinism" list has collected worldwide. On top of Pawlewski's admission, the organizers made the following observation:

Demastes, Smith and Avalos say support for HF 183 comes from "mostly conservative religious groups," such as the Iowa Christian Alliance, and not from "legitimate scientific or educational organizations," such as the Iowa State Education Association and the Iowa Department of Education, which oppose HF 183.

So all Casey can do is keep pounding the less-than-credible line that all the DI wants to do is allow teachers to discuss the "weaknesses" of evolution which, for some reason, are never spelled out. Could it be that they are all the same ol' arguments that it makes in favor of ID?

Well, as a "Darwinist," I guess it's time for me to say something nasty about Luskin to subject him to "ridicule, intimidation, or worse" ...

Ahem: From the evidence of this article, Luskin is less forthcoming, less honest about his motives, than a registered lobbyist.

You gotta like the notion of students and teachers "deciding" the science.

I wonder how that's supposed to work in practice. Do they take a vote at the end of year? Do we really need the students, since after all, how many students will disagree with what the teacher tells them? If the class of 2009 has "decided" the science, can the class of 2010 undecide, or has the decision been made already? Are both classes 'right' if they decide the opposite? If two different sections of the same class in the same year decide differently, how do we decide...a cheer off? Do we include all schools or only a representative sample?
No doubt we'll have to determine the consensus of the high school community as a whole to base our scientific decisions on in the future.
You might note that this petition, solely from the state of Iowa, has over a quarter of the names that the Discovery Institutes's bogus "Dissent From Darwinism" list has collected worldwide.

You mean even those scientists that have bravely signed the Dissent from Darwin list, are against this legislation? Well, it must be really bad then! *snicker*

True justice would be the lack of discovery institute having to eat their list of scientists along with a side dish of crow at the next legislative hearing.
Ack! That sentence should be taken out and shot ... which is what I've done.
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